Weekend Open Thread

Athleta Cross-Shore Maxi DressSomething on your mind? Chat about it here. 

I am all jersey dresses all the time in the summer months. Athleta may be an athletic-wear company, but they have a great selection of t-shirt and tank dresses that are perfect for weekend wear. I love the stripes on this dress and the interesting way the high-low style is executed gives you the look of a maxi with the breeziness of a short dress. It’s $108 in sizes XXS-XL at Athleta. Athleta Cross-Shore Maxi Dress

Thanks to Belle from Capitol Hill Style for sharing her picks this week!

Are you a mom or mom-to-be? Check out this week’s open thread over at CorporetteMoms.

(L-2)

Comments

  1. Great pick Belle but sadly too much to pay for a weekend dress.

    • Wildkitten :

      There will be a sale.

    • West Coast :

      I usually get a lot of wear out of a dress like this and find the price to actually be very reasonable if it fit well.

      • hoola hoopa :

        +1

        But given that it’s at a store that will inevitably have a sale soon, I’d wait.

    • S in Chicago :

      FWIW, if you have a BR credit card, you can use your bonuses at Athleta, just like at GAP and Old Navy.

  2. Wildkitten :

    Does Athleta carry swimwear in the store, or only online?

  3. Anonymous :

    Etiquette on decorating/personalizing a cube as a summer intern? It feels stark and depressing now but I don’t want to “move in” per se, nor put a lot of money into it. Any suggestions for cheap, easily removable and quick things I can do that won’t make me look less professional but might brighten up the space a bit?

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Flowers, a personalized or colorful mousepad, a framed photograph on your desk, a colorful water bottle. I think color goes a long way.

      • But is a water bottle professional?

        #metajoke

      • McGiggles :

        Nope none of these things. You’re an intern. No personalization. People will talk about you and will ESPECIALLY talk about you if your work product is poor but your cube is decorated. Remember this is like a long interview. Keep it professional.

        • Anonymous :

          It sucks, but I think this is right. If you have any sense that you’re not a top, top, top performer as an intern (and remember, someone is always average), decorating your cube overtly may be held against you.

          • Totally disagree. .. a single photo that makes you smile taped to the wall or in a frame should be fine.

        • Oh, come off it now. I get you don’t want to put up Dilbert or Hello Kitty, but you *really* think a colorful mousepad or a small vase or picture is too much personalization? That’s pretty harsh. Interns are people too, you know.

      • Yay! Open thread’s! I love Open thread’s (and this maxi dress). I read the other p’osters who said that if you have a tummy it is not great–it is worse if you have a tuchus b/c tight maxi’s are UNFORGIVEING. I perfer summer jumper’s, but NOT like Lena Dunham wear’s on Girls. Seriously, how did she EVER get to sleep with that 42 year old DOCTOR? What did he see in her, I will never know! That is what I need–a 42 year old doctor who has a place like that, not a 62 year old schlub that is focussed 100% on jumpeing my bones! FOOEY! I realy wonder why I get the schlubs and guy’s like that go for Lena — I guess when your still in your 20’s, guys want to have sex with you b/c you are still in your 20’s, but I am svelte compared to her and no doctor is grabbeing at my tuchus! DOUBEL FOOEY! When I was in my 20’s, all the professor’s at law school were, but they did NOT want to get MARRIED–just make me do thing’s to them sexueally. TRIPEL FOOEY!

        This weekend, I have to meet the manageing partner and his brother out at the Hamton’s.
        We are warming up the boat for the outing, and the manageing partner’s brother is happy b/c I am comeing out there by MYSELF. Not even Myrna want’s to come out there to see them this time, tho she can come to the firm outing. I am sure the manageing partner’s brother will be thrilled b/c we will both be availeabel to schmooze with. I hope all goe’s quietly and there is nothing dumb hapening with him. Myrna realy think’s he want’s to have sex with me and I think she is right, but I am NOT about to ruin everything at the firm by letting him have his way with me. I do NOT care if he is VIRALE. He is the type to slobber all over me, then roll over and fall asleep. FOOEY!

        • The old fart is out trolling for poon. Don’t let it be yours. He has given off signals as to his virility and to the fact that his wife is no longer servicing him. Unless you want to be on the receiving end of a bucketful of genetic material, stay on the far side of the boat or room or that old fart will surely try to impregnate you.

    • I always put a few 8×10 photos of places I’d been on the bulletin board or a blank wall–just make sure you use something that won’t damage the wall when removed. They made it feel a little less sterile and were good conversation starters when people came into the office.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Wall or desk calendar.

      If it’s a shared space, don’t do anything.

      • McGiggles :

        +1

      • Anonymous :

        Not a shared space, my own cube with tall walls. I’ll try for maybe a colored water bottle and a calendar and see if that is enough to quell my “god I can’t think/work in this empty enclosed box” feeling.

        FWIW decorating seems to be pretty common here (esp now during the World Cup, people have team colors, brackets up, etc) but definitely at varying levels depending on the person. I definitely do not want to appear completely unprofessional or silly though.

        • Wildkitten :

          Calendar is a really good idea. Adds color but looks function/responsible instead of fussy.

          • Plus if you choose one that reflects and interest of yours it can be a good conversation starter for people who stop by your cube.

        • Not an intern, but I keep a whole bunch of references on the wall right next to me. I have a calendar, the phone list, and a table of important info that I use about 15 times per day. It’s not necessarily colorful, but if you have wall real estate, its not a bad idea to put up some quick reference materials.

        • Calendar is the way to go. Colorful water bottle and/or mug is fine too. Do not bring a framed picture. Yes, no one will “not hire” you for it, but it’s weird. Esp. with phones and laptops where you can personalize your wallpapers/desktop. I feel like it just lends itself to snark – like, what you couldn’t go 8-10 weeks without having a picture of your SO/baby/BFF on your desk? (Sad, but true – I just wouldn’t go there).

          BUT — stuff that’s topical is an easy way to decorate. Something from the World Cup or a Playbill from a show can be pinned to the Cube wall in a casual, impromptu way and is a nice little conversation starter too. You can also take a colorful pashmina and leave it on your chair as an added little bit of color.

    • (former) preg 3L :

      Box of tissues can do the trick (a small one)

    • A plant! Adds color and isn’t too “girly” or fussy.

    • No pictures of your SO. An intern did that at a job I was at and all I could think was, really?? You’re 20. You probably won’t even be dating him next week. Do you really need a picture of him for the 12 weeks you’ll be here?

      I don’t think I ever personalized as an intern. I carried a planner and left it open on my desk to that week rather than a calendar, but I think a calendar is as far as I’d go.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Woooow….I had been with my SO for 4 years already when I was 20….and now we’ve been together 17…

        I think if you have a picture of your SO from a fun place you’ve been, that shouldn’t be an issue. If it IS an issue, maybe you don’t want to work there after the summer.

      • Wildkitten :

        I think an intern pic of an SO can make it look like they’d rather be somewhere else.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Let’s be honest. We’d all rather be somewhere else other than work. If we all stopped pretending that we love nothing more than to be at work maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to use vacation time.

      • I think there’s nothing wrong with displaying 1 picture of you and your SO when you’re an intern, assuming its tasteful (you’re clothed, not drunk, etc.) Maybe its because summer associates are normally at least 24 years old (and often quite a bit older) so they’re not exactly teenagers, but I wouldn’t find it weird at all. Don’t cover your cube/office in pictures but 1 or 2 are totally fine.

      • OK, point taken. I think my mean girl judgement stems more from the fact that we had mutual friends and I knew for a fact she rotated through boyfriends fairly frequently. I realize this is a pretty blanket statement that should not be applied to all interns – they’re not all crazy party girls.

        Even if I had been married during an internship, I still don’t think I would have put a picture of my husband on my desk – it just seems a bit much for an intern. And I am very impressed by someone who was married at 20! I was definitely still in the crazy party girl phase.

        • Anonollama :

          I’m not sure why having a picture of his/her spouse is “a bit much” just because he/she happens to be an intern. Is it an age thing? What if the intern is a later-in-life student who is older than you and married? If the decor was isolated to a simple picture alone, would that be “too much?”

          As a former 21 year old married intern (still married, former 21 year old intern), I got the impression from supervisors my stock as a mature, responsible adult went up after I got back from my honeymoon. YMMV.

          • It’s because it’s a temporary space. You’re only there for the summer and presumably you’re not in an office the rest of the year, so that means that at some point you had to think, “gee, I just cannot go through my temporary position without a framed picture of me & my honey bear, I better bring this in.”

            Again, if you do it, no one will really care. But they might roll their eyes. And if they don’t like you much to begin with, this will be one more strike against you. It’s silly but that’s how I think it is.

          • I think it has everything to do with context. You could have two identical cubes, both with a reasonably tasteful picture of the intern and a SO (nicely dressed/ posed, etc.) and if one intern is all “OMG I miss my boyfriend so much!!!!!!”, talking to him on the phone, squealing, etc. you’ll read “clingy idiot” into the photo. And if the other intern mentions her boyfriend only occasionally in appropriate contexts, and seems all-business otherwise, you’ll think the photo is sweet and maybe even want to hear more about it. At least that’s my take on it.

        • SoCalAtty :

          Not that impressive, we’ve just been together forever!

          I wouldn’t do just a picture of my husband, but the picture that I always have on my desk is the two of us on top of Half Dome. Love that pic! It is a metal print, where the photos is actually printed right on a 5 x 7 piece of aluminum. Very modern and nice to have on a desk.

        • You know, having a number of boyfriends doesn’t make someone a party girl either – that’s really assuming a lot. Some of us just date frequently looking for the right person and aren’t willing to settle for someone not so right.

      • I’m really confused by the “no personalization, no pictures, etc” responses.

        I think as long as your limit yourself to a handful of things (a calendar, one or two framed photos, and a small plant or bud vase), you’re completely fine. I wouldn’t bat an eye at this if I were a hiring supervisor.

        • I’m not in law, so take this with a grain of salt. But I would look at an intern who homefies the cube as being kind of nervy–you’re a temp. The more plants, etc. you bring in, the more it looks like you are intending to be there for the long haul, and that seems a little presumptuous. Also, if you bring too much, it can give the appearance you’re homesick or want to be somewhere else. You aren’t going to be there all that long, so there should be less need for a bunch of personal comfies to get through the day.

          • Hmm. I guess my take is different. My photographs and other personal items aren’t there because I’m homesick – they are there for a personal touch. As long as an intern isn’t bringing in more items than they could have carried (all at once) in their handbag, then I’m not sure I see the problem.

            If we aren’t going to give someone a permanent offer, it sure isn’t going to be because of a photo on their desk (unless said photo was objectionable on its face).

          • Yeah, I really don’t get this. It might be different if you’re sharing an office, but we give our summers their own offices and I’m not sure why they wouldn’t want to have personal mementos. I don’t think bringing in a few photos and other small items that you can carry in one small box makes it look like you think you belong there for the long haul – just that you want to make your space a little personal while you’re there. I can understand why people object to moving in tons of clothes and shoes or nailing photos to the wall, but objecting to a small photo that you set on your desk and doesn’t leave any permanent mark on the office when you remove it? I don’t get that.

      • As a clerk, I overlapped with the clerk who took over from me by about three days. Before I was even gone, she set up three framed pictures of her with her SO. Three. In a cube that was about 4×5. I think one is your absolute max, and it shouldn’t be too lovey-dovey.

    • Lady Tetra :

      I put up 2 photos and got a nice tissue box holder when I was a summer associate. However, it was only after several people commented that my office looked bare. So if people are encouraging you to decorate, go for it — just read your office environment first.

    • lawsuited :

      You can bring your own coloured water bottle that you’d drink out of anyway, and opt for colourful office supplies like coloured post-its and maybe a colourful box of tissues, if that’s going to make you happier. Don’t bring in framed pictures, a vase for flowers, a pen cup, a personalized mouse pad, etc. You a summer intern, it’s not your cubicle, you don’t get to “move in”.

    • West Coast :

      I would make sure that whatever you choose, it is easy and discrete to leave with on your last day. When you are there permanently, you can really ‘move in’ and bring bigger items, but doing so as an intern makes it seem like you are unaware of your temporary situation.

      • SoCalAtty :

        This is my rule even at a permanent job! Can you get it all back to your car in 1 trip? If not, forget it.

        But that’s advice from someone who has been burned one too many times. Now that I’m in a very permanent, amazing position I plan to retire from, I’ve moved in. “Moved in” for me consists of 3 pictures (1 landscape, 1 me+husband, 1 me+ horse), a mug warmer, tea bag tray, turtle book ends, a few legal treatises, my Rotary certificates, and a glass water bottle. Too bad I am in-house and don’t have a real office to hang diplomas!

        • Cady Heron :

          We once had an entry level person whose cube looked like, in the words of one of my friends,
          “A Things Remembered Kiosk at the mall”. She had a plug-in air freshener in there!

    • I’m full time attorney; and I haven’t decorated my office–at all. I just don’t have the time to! I’m so busy at work everyday that I don’t really have time to sit back and think, “Wow, my office is depressing.” In fact, it’s not unusual to literally see me running through the office, juggling three tasks at the same time. The truth is I expect (and enjoy) that level of busy-ness from myself at work, so I have to admit I’d be alarmed if I had a lot of time to think about interior decorating.

      So I might be a little suspicious of an intern who seemed to have a lot of time on her hands. To me, it would seem like an intern wasn’t very industrious if they spent a lot of time decorating their cubicle. I think, of course, if your level of work is high enough, then it doesn’t really matter. But just take into account how much time you are (or looks like you are) devoting to decorating!

      • Amazing among that extraordinary busyness you find time to post on C o r p o r e t t e.

  4. Maxi dress question: I love the style of maxi dress posted here, but does it work if you have a bit of a tummy? I usually gravitate towards maxis with a gathered skirt so the gathers kind of hide the tummy.

    • I got a couple of maxi dresses from Old Navy that are sort of “flowy” (for lack of a better word). I have a bit of a tummy too and I find them to be draped nicely and not tight. I also like to wear a belt right below the bust to create more of an empire waist.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I have an Eileen fisher esque dress that’s flattering with a tummy. IMO, it comes down to the material and exact cut. Ie, you’ve got to try it on to know.

    • I think this style only works on those with flat stomachs. I love maxi dresses but stick to ones with some waist definition.

    • I know what you mean. And wearing spanx sort of defeats the flowy, summery feel.

      I find buying a size up often helps.

    • I tried this one on in the store – I have a bit of a tummy and hips, and this wasn’t cute on me.

    • I just bought this maxi: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D728U32/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=C0C7QGM7L6IV&coliid=IJ6QVVR6VL510&psc=1

      I LOVE it. The gathering helps define your waist, but then flows nicely away from your stomach without looking like a maternity dress.

  5. I want to like them. From the catalog pictures, I’d think that their clothes would be great on someone who is already really buff and that many tops would be better with someone with implants. It’s one of the few catalogs where I wish they showed the clothes on actual people.

    • long time lurker :

      Ditto. I have some cute things from Altheta (I like their long hoodie-sweaters for fall/spring ) but have been burned many times especially with the dresses. They seem cut very slim/small which is interesting because its a GAP company and I find GAP to be very generous sized. Also Altheta is expensive for what it is. In my ideal world I would be a buff surfer girl who lived in Altheta and Sundance clothing vs. an Ann Taylor clad office denizen.

    • I have one of their swimsuit tops in a bra measurement size and it is cut on the small side. I imagine the rest of their tops would be too

    • I have had good luck with their cotton dresses that drape well (have gathers at the waist, skims the body, does not cling). I did buy in a larger size to get the loose fit I wanted. I also buy them in a Tall because I like to have them in a knee length.
      I do agree with you that this is a concern with their clingy jersey dresses.

      The one I have is an older version of the Santorini II dress – look at the picture of the coral version http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=89745&vid=1&pid=983175002.
      It fits a lot looser and is more flowy than the one on the model.

    • I like them and think that the clothes fit me well, but I have a tall and athletic build. I do think that many of the tops are workout tops that you’d wear a sports bra under, though. You’re supposed to see some of the bra.

  6. Gail the Goldfish :

    Shoe question: I need some shoes for vacation. It will be lots of sightseeing/walking and it’s going to be hot, so I want something breathable, but I also want something closed-toed. Any suggestions for something comfortable that will look ok with skirts & knee-length shorts?

    • I know nothing about this company, but a blogger I follow just posted about the brand and I think they’re adorable. Maybe these? http://www.swedishhasbeens.com/us/sweet-sandal-p-158.html.

      You might not be good with the wooden sole – I walk long distances frequently in some of my wooden shoes, but I think a breaking in period is necessary.

      • Swedish Hasbeens are very cute but horribly uncomfortable. I would not recommend them for walking long distances. And interestingly, the wooden sole is not the problem, at least in the pair I have (they are a heeled sandal, don’t remember the style name). The shape is actually excellent. The problem is the VERY stiff and ROUGH leather they use. I have had mine for years but have been unsuccessful in breaking in the leather because they tear up my feet so much I can only handle them maybe once per month! Unless you are very committed to breaking them in, maybe by wearing them with socks around the house for awhile, I would not recommend this brand.

    • The Born Julianne (or Julianna – I forget which) flat. So comfortable – have walked miles in them pet day and didn’t need to break them in. I have the tan but they come in a lot of colors. Also they are very cute for walking shoes.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      I recently bought some awesome athletic closed toe sandals from Clarks. Thick and very padded soles is the key to avoiding shin splints. I’d also look at the Sketchers Go Walk line and see if those are something you like.

      • hoola hoopa :

        +1 for Clarks. They have lots of options that work with skirts and shorts and are more comfortable than tennis shoes. I bought a pair of perforated leather flats last year that I live in. (Unfortunately the exact pair is no longer available).

      • +1 for the Go Walk line. I have 3 of the slip-on styles and wear them everywhere except work. And you can toss them in the wash and they come out great.

    • Bensimons? They are sneakers (sort of) but I wear mine with casual sundresses and shorts. I bought them for my honeymoon because we planned to walk/sightsee a lot.

      • Orangerie :

        Along the same lines, Superga and Jack Purcell sneakers are also really cute.

    • I have Jambu Bloom shoes – they sort of look like sneakers, but not clunky and a bit feminine with vaguely floral cut-outs. I think they’re very comfortable, although I do stick a Dr. Scholls arch support thing in there if I’ll be walking all day. The cut-outs help provide some airflow and the leather is on the soft/flexible side, so they are nice for summer. I think they’d work with both skirts and longer shorts, for a casual look.

      I found them on Zappos, but you might want to check around. I think I got mine on Amazon, prices may vary.

    • These Rockport mary janes are mesh so might fit the bill? http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/rockport-truwalk-zero-mesh-mary-jane/3759720?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Blanc%2F+Silver&resultback=9206&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_24_C

    • 6pm.com has converse and dansko on sale now, and coach sneakers too

      • Also Gentle Souls. I always recommend them here so I feel a bit like a broken record but they’re the only brand I can reliably wear all day without any break in period. A bit expensive but worth it (and often on major sale at 6pm and DSW).

    • Thanks, all!

  7. I’m a lawyer in my mid-thirties. In the last six weeks or so, I’ve started to experience persistent aching and pain in my right forearm and the top of my hand. I assume that this is due to bad typing or mousing posture. I have an ergonomic assessment scheduled next week, but in the meantime, any tips, personal stories, or recommendations for resources? It’s really uncomfortable and I don’t want this to get worse – typing is basically my whole job.

    • Could be carpal tunnel. When I had those symptoms (mine was from holding a newborn baby for months on end, though), I slept in a wrist brace. It helped a lot.

      • Famouscait :

        +1 to sleeping in a wrist brace. I have something called De Quervain’s in my left hand (I am right-handed, FWIW) which basically means my tendon has been over-stretched and can get “caught” on my wrist joint. It is indeed as painful as it sounds. My doc gave me a steroid shot which helped completely at first; now I wear my wrist brace at night if I have any pain and then I’m pretty good to go.

        http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/de-quervains-tenosynovitis/basics/definition/con-20027238

        • De Quervain’s is what my husband had (as I commented below).

        • I suspect my husband has that, as well (his mother, a doctor, informally diagnosed it). He’s headed to the doc for a steroid shot, too. Glad to hear it helped.

      • Agree on wrist brace. .. slept in 2 odd them during my first pregnancy (yay carpal tunnel in both wrists). Helped a ton.

    • Wildkitten :

      When I had wrist pain, I slept in these and the pain went away: http://www.cvs.com/shop/product-detail/Futuro-Areversible-Splint-Wrist-Brace?skuId=835808 Might be worth a try for you in the meantime.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Go to a chiropractor. I had pain and some limited mobility and was initially diagnosed with carpal tunnel, but then I went to my chiropractor who definitively said it was absolutely not (if I remember correctly it was partly based on feel and party because I felt no tingling, which I guess is an important symptom). She instead said it was some sort of tendonitis and gave me some exercises that really helped. Similar story with my husband, actually, but different providers. It’s been years, and if we really did have carpal tunnel we’d definitely know by now.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Oh, and FWIW, I’ve found that personally the scroll ball on my mouse is a huge offender. If I resist the reflex to use it, my wrist is much happier. (I should probably get a mouse without one…) YMMV.

    • Besides carpal tunnel, it could also be tendinities. My husband underwent extensive occupational therapy and eventually hand surgery (which worked) for a severe case.

    • DO you wear a watch? I realized my on-trend, large watch coupled with bracelets was making my forearm/top of hand hurt. Once I stopped wearing it for a few days, the pain went away. I miss the watch but feel better.

    • Spirograph :

      Do you have a wrist support for your keyboard and/or mouse? I had similar pain last year (pregnancy-related, I suspect, but definitely triggered by computer use), and I found those really helped. Also, you can find non-prescription wrist braces pretty easily at a drugstore — something like a tight sleeve that you pull over your wrist; I’m not sure it actually prevents you from moving your wrist in ways that could trigger the pain, but when I wore one at work it helped keep me conscious of how I was holding my hands and wrists, which was half the battle.

    • At my first desk job, I had a tendency to rest my elbow when using the mouse, which caused my ulnar nerve to become inflamed. (Ulnar nerve runs up the side of your arm towards your pinky finger – it’s also known as the funny bone.) It caused my wrist to hurt like crazy, and my pinky finger to get numb and feel like it was separated from the rest of my hand (if that makes sense). Some anti-inflamatories and making really, really sure not to rest my elbow cured the problem.

      • I’ve had this – too much doc review in a program without keyboard shortcuts, and also when doing large research projects. I call it Lexis elbow. Not resting my arm was key as well.

      • You can get an armless chair, too, to prevent resting elbows. A good ergonomics evaluator will suggest more alternatives.

      • Don’t rest your wrist while typing, either. Look at some good ergonomics diagrams and try to align your body right while you type/use the mouse.

    • I had that. It was an inflammation of the ulnar nerve. The pain got so bad it woke me up at night. My doc diagnosed it. I ended up buying an over the counter arm thing to sleep in to keep my arm straight at night, and I wore a carpal tunnel wrist brace during the day. I also re configured my work space (no arms on my chair) and a couple other things. Good luck.

    • I had the same thing. I went to the chiropractor which helped a lot but still had pain and numbness. My doctor prescribed neurontin which provided relief. I was told to put my monitor up higher on top of books which helped. I also purchased a sideways mouse – not sure if that is really helping. I now do yoga and get massages and go to the chiropractor which keep the symptoms at bay. Good luck.

    • Also a lawyer and started to get pretty bad wrist tendonitis, which I assumed was from long hours typing. A friend recommended this book (http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Back-Pain-Mind-Body-Connection/dp/0446557684) by Dr. John Sarno for neck/upper back pain and nerve problems that I was having, and it fixed both the back pain AND the tendonitis. The book sounds a bit out there at first (the premise is that most chronic pain is not structural but is triggered by the subconscious brain via the autonomic nervous system), but it worked for my back issues after years of trying everything else under the sun including physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc. And having the tendonitis clear up as well was completely unexpected (but wonderful). In summary, I would try reading it before doing anything more invasive (medication, shots, etc.). It only takes a couple hours to read and I saw a 90% drop in symptoms almost immediately.

  8. Kat- it would be helpful if there was a tab at the top of this site to CorporetteMOMS and vice versa. I’m loving the shopping picks over there and can’t wait to see more posts.

  9. One of the attorneys in my small office is retiring. The retiring attorney invited the other two attorneys in the office to a retirement celebration party at his house, but not me. I’ve only worked in the office for about a year… but I’m still angry that I’ve been left out. The retiring attorney has never treated me like his colleague, at times comparing me to the office intern, and would often talk in attorney meetings about my cases or hearings I covered for him as though I was not in the room. Perhaps I would be less angry if I didn’t feel like his attitude toward me is heavily affected by the fact that I am young and female. RAWR!

    • I think here you just need to be glad he’s retiring. If he worked with them a long time though, I could see the distinction.

    • Yeah, that’s aggravating. But do your own happy dance that he’s leaving!

    • Hug’s, but there is NO need to be to angry. Most male lawyer’s are stuffey and ungratful. The old doosh is retireing, which will make YOU more valueable at the firm. He probabley is a littel uneasy haveing a young pretty woman around the firm b/c he can NOT just walk around and burp (and fart) like he did b/f you got there. I think there is some part of him that does NOT recognise you b/c you will be repleaceing him and he is NOT about to accept being useless. FOOEY on him!

      You did NOT go to law school to be marginalized by an old doofus. There is also a small chance that he is doeing his best to stay away from you b/c he has some kind of sexueal attraction to you. When I was in college, there was this guy who told everybody that we were dateing, but when I went up to him to ask him why he said that, he ran away b/c he was to scared to face me. There could be some of that goeing on.

      The manageing partner just asked if I want to go out NOW with him to the Hamton’s. I told him I did NOT have my stuff, and would NOT be abel to get out there until tomorow afternoon. He said I did NOT need anything that Margie didn’t have, and that she was already out there with the manageing partner’s brother.
      So I said OK–I am leaveing early so will NOT be abel to p’ost much from my Iphone. I am concerned that the manageing partner’s brother will be buzzeing around me all weekend, and if I am wearing Margie’s clotheing, I must make sure NOT to make a mess. More importantely, I do NOT want the manageing partner’s brother PAWING me out there. Men in the Hamton’s tend to think we women are ONLEY out there for sex, and I do NOT want him grabbeing at me weareing Margie’s clotheing. FOOEY! I hope the HIVE will wish me luck holding him off! Have a great weekend! YAY!!!!!!

      • Be careful. The old guy has engineered your presence out there early. By this time, he might already have had sex with you — we surely hope not, so stay strong, and, if he’s in the room, keep your knees together at all costs!

  10. Honest question :

    We often talk about how having children can negatively impact your career. But, I would like to know if having children positively impacted anyone’s career? If so, how? I work in an environment where having children is prized, and I can’t identify a single leader (man or woman) who is childless. Is this an anomaly or part of a larger trend? (I do not have children or a partner, and am concerned that this may negatively impact my career.)

    • Reduced Hours in BigLaw :

      I think it’s another thing you can have in common with people, so it could make bonds stickier if everything works out.

      My children went to a corporate daycare for a while and it did make a lot of the people’s bonds stronger. But there was the kid who had some troubling violent tendencies and it was awkward to deal with for people who had one of that kid’s parents as a manager when it came time for birthday party invitations and playdates.

    • OttLobbyist :

      I think the point about common ground is good, as marriage and kids is a natural topic for conversation, and a leveler between ranks – whether you are a VP or an secretary, the child experience is similar for everyone. You can also sometimes have inadvertent networking opportunities in hockey arenas or on the sidelines of a soccer field that you may not have a single, child-free person. As you get older, depending on your environment, not being married or having kids can actually make people a bit awkward around you.

    • I have a lot of kids, and several of my supervisors have commented that the skills I use in managing a large family are the same skills that help me succeed in the workplace. They tell me I’m organized, I manage time well, etc. Whether or not there’s a connection, that’s the impression they have.

    • I would +1 the “thing you have in common.” I am currently in an office that is a horrible fit for many reasons but one of the big ones is that no one really makes any effort to socialize with me. I am one of two people who don’t have kids and children and sports are the only things that are discussed (besides work) at any meeting or other gathering so I am generally just left out. I actually would be perfectly happy to discuss my coworkers children but it is almost like they discount me because I don’t have children myself.

    • Practical :

      I worry about this too. And, in a financial way.
      I know it is illegal, but are they giving me a smaller raise because I “don’t have anyone to support”? Or thinking “there must be something weird/ wrong with her because she’s not married.”

      It is always super awkward to be single at events where spouses are allowed, and doubly so at the summer picnic with families. I don’t want to bring my random 1st-2nd-3rd date to those! I feel like this happened to Miranda on Sex and the City-?

      • Cady Heron :

        A boss and I were once talking about restructuring the department, and she actually said to me (a childless woman), “Well, whatever we do, we have to make sure we keep [male colleague] because he has three kids at home, and his wife quit her job.”

        I told her that even those of us without children still had mortgages, student loans, etc. to pay and needed our jobs just as much. She took the point well and apologized profusely. And then asked if I was mad at her for having said that.

    • It probably depends on your geography – if you’re working in a part of the country that skews towards the traditional family, then being like everyone else probably helps. I don’t live in a place like that so I can’t see it as a career advantage myself.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Ditto in relating to coworkers and having an easy connection. It’s insanely easy to initiate conversations with another parent.

      Extra ditto if there is a common school or daycare. A friend in government relations has made major networking connections because her kids attended the same daycare as is heavily used by the state and federal gov employees. Although obviously that won’t help if the people you are trying to connect with don’t have kids and instead are out for happy hour, late nights, tropical vacations, etc.

      I know that leadership and managers for my company tend to (informally and I think unconsciously) favor folks with families because they think they’ll stick with the company for the long term. Ie, they tend to be less mobile than those without kids.

      For me personally, having kids has let me find my leadership voice, if that makes sense. While I’d never list “motherhood” on my resume or bring it up in an interview, I do feel that motherhood has made be better at managing people, leading teams, etc.

      Note that none of these are reasons to have kids if you don’t already want them. Obviously.

  11. Reduced Hours in BigLaw :

    For those of you who are in BigLaw and work reduced hours, can you share your reduction % and how that rippled through salary / bonus? In our firm, you can work for a reduced % and it is supposed to work out as 75% salary for 75% hours (and I think a reduced bonus if you do make your hours).

    I’m thinking of whether it is worth it to even propose a 90% schedule or just take it as I don’t ever get bonuses based on a 100% hours expectation. I don’t think that a 75% schedule would work out — the work is here and I’m senior (think — counsel-level) and would wind up doing the work anyway.

    Or is this when I make the business case for an associate to start training to take on part of my load?

    • AnonLawMom :

      Be wary of any voluntary reduction in salary. The anecdotal data I have collected from friends and colleagues is that the % decrease in salary is usually greater than the % decrease in work. One thing that can be successful is to negotiate that any hours above your minimum be compensated pro-rata. So, if you end up working 85% then they true-up your base to 85%, if that makes sense.
      Fwiw, I’ve seen too many male attorneys work 1700 hours at full salary to ever voluntarily take a pay cut myself. As a result, I’d lean toward getting an associate to help with your work first and then reevaluate.

      • +1 – I went 80% prior to leaving my firm to go in-house for good (at the time I didn’t know when that would happen or if it would, and I couldn’t take the hours pressure anymore – or so I thought). It just turned into a cut in pay I didn’t need to take as I left before hours for the year would have mattered. Being under in billables isn’t typically an immediate ouster and I think firms make you believe it is. There was almost no tangible benefit to me in reducing hours other than a slight (and I mean slight) bit of mental relief. I would only do it if I worked at a firm that really respected the concept and you have long term plans to stay there. If you’re thinking of going anywhere else, I wouldn’t bother.

      • anon-oh-no :

        i think this totally depends on the firm. i went on 80% for a while, and 90% for a while, and am now back at 100%. lots and lots of women at my firm (BigLaw, Chicago) do this. And i know a number of women at my peer firms that do this as well.

        that said, im in litigation and its hard to make the reduced hours thing work unless you are in it for the long haul and recognize that some years will be great and some wont.

    • Practical :

      Well, work it out. If you propose 90% hours reduction for 85% pay/ bonus would that be more than 100% pay, no bonus, working 90% hours?

      Are they going to fire you if you stay at 90% forever?

    • Anon for this :

      My firm you get your % in salary(so 80% means 80% hours, which is 1600). Bonus is technically discretionary, but more or less equates to % in bonus as well. If you bill more than 100 hours over, you get the pro rata bump up the following January. However, bonuses kick in at a lower than 2000 target, so I think that it’s odd to be between 90 and 100% (1800 and 2000). It is somewhat annoying to think that I could be collecting full pay for part- time hours, but if I look at the averages that people are billing across the firm, I don’t feel so bad. Basically, I’m skeptical that there are that many attorneys billing at 1700 who are planning to stay long-term, so I’d rather collect a lower salary and meet my hours instead of collecting a higher salary and not meet my hours with a view to staying here.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      When I went on a reduced schedule it was 80% hours, 80% pay, 80% of the normal billable hours target, 80% of the standard bonus for that target. If I had been substantially over the target I would have gotten a proportionate bump in bonus.

      I’ve heard a lot of people say that they took the paycut and didn’t get the corresponding reduction in work. For me, the paycut was what I needed to feel comfortable pushing back on assignments based on the fact that I was at capacity for what I was being paid. When I was at 100%, I never felt like I could say no because that would mean the work just got pushed onto someone else’s plate, who was probably also busy. But once I started to get the smaller paychecks I had no problem (and was pleasantly surprised that most people seemed to respect the arrangement). I worked 4 days a week, with the understanding that I would have childcare lined up 5 days a week in case I needed to switch my day off to accommodate a meeting or client need. I still usually answered at least a couple emails on my “off” day, but it was absolutely a big difference from the hours I worked when I was full time and it saved my sanity.

      I knew when I went part time that I didn’t want to stick around and make partner, so that wasn’t a factor. I do think it can be challenging to get staffed on really big deals when you are on a reduced schedule, unless you make it clear that you are willing to go all out at 100%+ when the deal is busy in exchange for some extra time off once it closes (I’ve known some people who have successfully taken this approach, including one who made partner while part time).

  12. Miz Swizz :

    I recently moved and am no longer walking to work. The bag I used for my walking commute was great because it fit everything while leaving one hand free for doors, umbrella, etc. Now that I’m driving to work, I find I’m carrying a mostly empty, too big bag because I don’t need to fit everything in it. I realize we talk a lot about a bag that holds everything, but if I’m trying to downsize, what are some good options? It must fit a wallet, smartphone, makeup bag and sunglasses case.

    • Coach is having a sale at the moment. They have a TON of beautiful things on sale that are smaller. I will post some links in the reply to avoid mod.

      • L, I am blaming you for disturbing my during my work hours. I have four more hours of work to do and all I want to do is browse coach sale and buy something…

    • If you like cross-bodies I have this one and it is roomy enough for all those things. I love it.

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/michael-michael-kors-medium-selma-saffiano-leather-crossbody-bag/3477678?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Luggage&resultback=9088&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_25_D

      • I love this one:

        http://www.6pm.com/cole-haan-village-jenna-shoulder-bag-camello

        • I love the Cole Hahn because it’s not a crossbody. After using crossbodies for non-work (need a bigger bag for work as I carry in my MacBook) for a few years thinking they were so practical as they left me hands-free, I saw a picture of myself, bag on, dissecting my ample b o o b s in the least flattering way. Shortened all my crossbody straps to shoulder straps immediately and never going back unless over a heavy coat or jacket that fends off the dreaded bisected chest.

  13. Washer Dryer Recs :

    Does any one love their washer and dryer? Any I should avoid?

    • Wildkitten :

      http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-best-washer-and-dryer/

      • I have those Kenmores, and can vouch for them. Only had them for 1.5 years, so durability is up in the air, but many wash/dry cycles and huge capacity.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Check the lint trap. Ours (came with the house, but very nice set) had a lint trap that slid down at the front of the tub – so the handle stuck out into where the clothing turned. Clothing gets caught on it all the time, and it has destroyed many items of clothing. I was recently talking to a friend who has a different brand and same issue. I would have never thought to look, but you bet I was careful when picking out the next set!

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      I hate my Whirlpool Duet front loader. The rubber gasket is terribly designed and gets moldy even though I leave the door open to let the machine dry after every load. Also, kids socks get stuck inside the gasket and you have to fish out the soggy, stinky socks – yuck!

      • hoola hoopa :

        Honestly, I think that’s every front loader.

        • Anonymous :

          I went with a top loading high efficiency partly to avoid this and partly because the front loaders were out of my just-out-of-law-school budget, and I L-O-V-E my washer.

          The top loader means I don’t have the mildew issues and I personally find it much easier to load and unload, though that’s admittedly not a huge factor for me. It’s a low-water washer which makes me feel warm and fuzzy in a drought state, and also saves on my water heater bill. It has no agitator so no more stretched out sports bra straps because I missed putting one in the mesh bag and it got wrapped around the pole. It has quite a few cycle options that I can use for sheets (low spin so they don’t end up in a tangled mess), towels, regular cottons, and delicates that I would normally have hand washed (I feel comfortable putting everything in the washer now, though I do still use mesh bags for some items to protect them from other buttoned or zippered items in the load).

          I’m looking at moving to an apartment that has a full W/D rather than just connections, and it makes me sad because I love my washer so much. It’s about three years old so I don’t know if it’s still in production, but it’s a Maytag Bravia top-loading HE (sorry, at the office so I don’t have model number). I hate the matching dryer though (the sensor always thinks my clothes are dry way too early and stops, so they sit in a wet heap with the occasional wrinkle release tumble), so if you are the type that needs a matching set, it may not be for you.

          • Anonymous :

            Forgot to add, it’s so quiet! I can hear my upstairs neighbor’s washer thrashing and pounding, while the loudest sound to come out of mine is the end of cycle beep. I can hear *some* noise but it is nowhere near as disruptive as models I’ve had in the past.

            If you’re interested in finding one like it, I think it was around $650-700 when I bought it if that helps find it online.

        • Regina Phalange :

          Our GE front loader was the bane of my existence for the year that we had it. We had the mold problem, plus it became unbalanced all the time and took multiple cycles to rinse out all the soap studs. Words cannot describe my hatred of that machine–hand washing my clothes probably would have taken less time than the effort needed to coax a clean, well spun, rinsed load from that machine. We replaced it with a top loading Speed Queen washer. It may not be water efficient, but I am so happy to have something that works. Check out online reviews. That is how we chose the Speed Queen.

    • We purposely didn’t get a new set when we did a major Reno a few years ago because the old set was working fine (if not energy efficient) and I’d just read horror stories of a blogger I followed getting a brand new set in expectation of a new baby… And promptly having it die on her.

      • I hope you are referring to the set, not the baby.

        • Oh!!! Yes! Whoops – the brand new set died and it was a big production to get the company to cover it under warranty.

  14. For those of you who have dealt with infertility, was there a point where you decided to call it quits? 4 IUIs, 3 IVFs, and 2 miscarriages later, I’m not sure how much more I can take. And please no snarking about adopting older children.

    • I have not dealt with infertility, but there is a blog series on the NYT blog Motherlode by Amy Klein that just addressed this exact issue – you may find it insightful: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/youve-done-everything-you-can/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    • I’m so sorry you are going through this. I don’t have advice, but I wanted to send good thoughts your way. I can’t imagine what a tough choice that must be, and I wish you the best of luck in making the best decision for you.

    • PinkKeyboard :

      I’m so sorry. I’m not sure where that line is, we haven’t that far yet. I did 6 clomid cycles, 4 cycles with injectables (only 1 IUI as my huband has very swimmy sperm so it wasn’t beneficial), and he wanted to wait a year for IVF. If you don’t have a time/age issue why dont’ you take a year off and see how you feel then? It is a very rough road and if you feel like you can’t take it any more than you should listen to yourself.

    • I have children, but have also had 3 miscarriages. I get pregnant easily, it’s just tricky staying that way. Personally, I think I have one more try in me. I know the fact that I already have some healthy, happy kiddos (for whom I am so grateful) greatly affects this calculus.

    • Flying Squirrel :

      I had 2 IUIs, 5 IVFs and 2 losses before a pregnancy stuck. I wanted to call it quits on treatments and look into alternative means to build our family after the third IVF, but DH was still hopeful and not ready to consider other options. In the end, I got a second opinion. The new doctor found an issue that my previous doctor missed (this happened around the time of cycle 4 and second loss). I had surgery to correct it, and I got pregnant on my next cycle.

      All of this is a long winded way of saying that there is no threshold for trying too much/not enough. It’s terribly personal. For some, even undergoing any treatments would be too much. If you are at the end of your rope or uncertain as to what to do, though, I would suggest a second opinion. DH was somewhat against the idea (just thought it was an unnecessary hassle), but in our case it was well worth it.

      And no matter what you decide, hang in there. IF sucks, and it leaves you in limbo for way too long. There is no right answer. The only thing I’m posting to say though, is that you need to make sure you are fully on board with whatever decision you make. Seeking a second opinion to see if they agree with your current doctor can be the beginning of finding some closure.

  15. Just realized I posted this on the wrong thread earlier- Where do people like to buy pants that are not denim but not are necessarily part of a suit either?
    I’ve never been a fan of khakis (too many ill-fitting school uniforms in my past), and I currently wear mostly jeans, thicker ponte pants (not leggings) or casual dresses day-to-day, or pencil skirts/sheath dresses if I have a meeting, but I start a new job in a few weeks that is no jeans, more khakis and polo/button-down for men type of place -but not a suit environment at all. I didn’t interview with or see any women when I was there so I can’t go off that yet, but I have a feeling it will involve a step up from my current leg-wear. I have a pair of cropped wool pants from jcrew, and a pair of cotton crops from club monaco, but no “real” pants! I prefer to machine wash over dry-clean, but I don’t mind fussy wash/dry instructions. Pear shaped and long-legged, which is a big part of how I got into this no-pants situation.
    PS. I’m not new to the workforce, I’ve just always been in very casual offices and need to make the leap to business casual.

    • Practical :

      I have about 5 pairs of black pants from Nordstroms. I think they are Halogen, and are like $80 regularly and $55 at the sale.

      I also have them in grey. I’m thinking about navy. I hate “Khakis” so, I also have a pair in “camel.” Lots of men I work with do the Khakis/ polo shirt thing. I might be slightly dressier than they are.

      Then I just wear blouses/ sweaters without jackets.

    • Gap trouser pants (variable quality over the years, though). I’ve also heard good things about Express editor pants, but the fit wasn’t great for me. I also like Ann Taylor (just random stuff of the sale rack).

      I think there has been a hunt/round up post here about washable work pants somewhat recently, so you might want to search the site.

    • I have a lot of the Editor pant from Express – they don’t last forever, but they are good for a step up from jeans.

      Other than black, I’ve found that I more often wear pants which might not work as well as a full suit – so I have some fun colors (cobalt, dark green) and some patterns (not floral or anything, but textured) that I think might be a bit much as a full suit (or are in colors I don’t love near my face – tan, mainly), but work really well as separates. (Also, those are usually the ones I can find on sale)

      Here’s an example: http://www.express.com/clothing/birdseye+barely+boot+columnist+pant/pro/7247965C/cat890004?swatch=92_724_7965_013&selectedColor=GRAY

    • The Halogen pants from Nordstroms and Banana Republic Martin fit are my work horses. If you are near a Banana Republic, just go in and see which type of fit looks best on you. You’ll want at least a black and another neutral like gray or navy to go with everything.

    • Thanks! I tried Gap last weekend and didn’t find anything I liked, so I’m headed to a mall today to cover more ground. I had forgotten about Express, but now I remember their pants holding up well through the constant washing of a college waitressing job. I’m definitely looking for colors beyond black, since this is as good a time as any to shake up my very neutral wardrobe.

    • Lily student :

      Can you just buy the bottom half of a suit?

  16. I need the help of the hive… Apologies if this gets long.
    I am currently working in the US, but am on an expatriate contract from the UK. This means that I keep all my terms and conditions from the UK.
    My boss was supposed to extend my contract into the end of next year, and had presented it to me as a done deal, but just casually informed me that I might have to go back in October.
    The problem is that I am pregnant. I wasn’t going to inform her of that for another 4 weeks, as I have had miscarriages in the past and wanted to be in the safe zone. As a UK employee, I got 4 months off, full pay. I would be off early next year.
    I think that I have a good business case to argue the fact that sending me back now is silly as they really do need me on this project (I’m her #2). But she has asked to meet early next week so I can give her more arguments for her to use if required. She knows that I am the main breadwinner in the UK but my husband found a good job here in the US, so she is expecting an argument along the line of my husband’s job, which is a very valid point. My husband does not want to go back to the UK, and in fact has started the process to apply for a green card, but we won’t know if we are successful until the end of the year.
    I don’t want to tell her about my pregnancy, as I fear it will not make her want to help me, as she will then know that I will be off for a few of the months she will have managed to negotiate extra for me, but feel that if I don’t tell her, I might lose her trust and I don’t want to risk that.
    Ultimately, we are willing to move to a US contract, but I don’t want to do that until after my maternity leave (my company maternity leave in the US is only a couple of weeks).
    Does anyone have any view as to what I can do, or how I could argue my case? I am at such a loss, and so stressed by this. I’m really worried about what it’s doing to this baby…
    Thanks for your help

    • hoola hoopa :

      So the current plan is to keep you on UK contract but send you back to UK in October. If my math is right, you’d be due in Feb.

      If your husband’s job is definite, then you can argue to stay on that alone. I think that’s justified.

      If you’ve been working with her for a while, I wouldn’t feel too badly about trying to get your UK contract renewed. Everyone’s looking out for themselves and their bottom line, but it’s pretty lame to essentially cut a long-time employee’s maternity benefits while they are pregnant.

      I don’t know if there’s a lot of ways for you to swing this. The best thing to do is to seal the deal on a UK contract in the US in the next four weeks, before you announce the pregnancy. If you can’t get a UK contract, best to know now so that you can save money, sign up for short term disability insurance (hopefully), and figure out if you’re eligible for FMLA protection.

    • I think you should tell her. Don’t overthink it- talk to her.

  17. Next step in ungrading the wardrobe? :

    Over the years I’ve moved from buying clothes at H&M to JCPenneys to Banana Republic/Ann Taylor/Nordstrom Rack. What’s the next step up in quality? I like elegant pieces that can last for years.

    Bonus question: any thoughts on places to buy t-shirts? I have a very large chest and buying shirts that fit up top usually means I look like I’m wearing a small tent.

    • Curious to see what people say. How old are you? Hugo Boss, Classiques Entier, Lafayette 148 can all be professional but can also seem a bit mumsy sometimes.

    • Wildkitten :

      You’re probably going to be told you need to get t-shirts tailored. If they are stretchy enough to fit your waist they’ll probably be sheer on your chest.

    • EduStudent :

      You might try Nordstrom if you like Nordstrom Rack – also keep track of the brands you like from Nordstrom Rack and look at those. For example, I like Classiques Entier and a few others, so I sometimes shop directly through them.

      I am built like you from what it sounds like and I have a few ideas. One is definitely tailoring – this has helped me immensely, more so than finding any one brand. I think style is more important than brand. Peplum shirts that are very structured rather than stretchy tend to look good. Look for shirts with full zippers in the back (not the short ones at the top of the shirt in back) or on the side – that suggests that they’re narrower in the waist, because you need the zipper to get them on. Also, watch the length – I have a very short torso, and if the shirt is too long, it looks additionally worse. I’ve never had much luck with shirts that are shorter in the front and longer in the back either because of the drapey fit that ensues.

      As for stores, I’d honestly recommend going to Nordstrom Rack/Nordstrom and just trying a bunch of brands. I like Classiques Entier, as I mentioned, and you might also like Rachel Roy/Lafayette 148. I’m kicking myself for not being able to name some others. I believe Nordstrom does some alterations, so bonus points there.

    • West Coast :

      I’m a huge fan of Elie Tahari and Theory–they look nice without looking too old. Boss looks good as well, but I have yet to try. I will take pieces from Armani, Akris, Lafayette 148 and Classiques Entier that look modern, and will still pick and choose some from Banana Republic, especially the washable shells.

      I tend to like Gap, Bobi and James Perse for t-shirts, and some from American Apparel.

      • Just reread the part of your q about t-shirts. I’ve always been busty with a small waist and have never had a problem. But I’m kind of rough on my tshirts – I buy whatever size fits best in general and then yank the T so it fits bigger in whatever areas I need it to be bigger. Boobs, tummy, whatever. I like jcrew, James perse, three dots, and weirdly, old Navy – some of my ON shirts are still going strong after years of constant wear when my much pricier shirts have died. Refuse to buy anything else from Loft (holes after one wash) or Everlane (waaay too boxy on me… wish they fit because I love the fabric (hand?) though.)

  18. Thought I put my car in park when I jumped out of it to see if I was blocking the neighbor’s garage. Nope – it was in neutral and I live in San Francisco. Before I knew it, my car slowly rolled right into someone’s house. Miraculously, no one was hurt and minimal damage was done to the home (a few smashed bricks and destroyed rose bush – the home owner was an angel about it all – she could see I was visibly shaken and remorseful – also bleeding from my knee – I actually tried to stop/jump into a moving vehicle!!) but front of car is smashed and I just about died of a heart attack. I felt terrible and petrified and stupid and I’m sitting at home hiding from the world. Thank god no one was hurt! I’m such a jerk.

    Just had to share. Too embarrassed to tell anyone. That’s all. :(

    • You are being way too hard on yourself. Thank heavens you are okay and no one was hurt. Everyone has accidents and this was an accident. Please surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. And seriously, you’ll look back and laugh about this someday. Ps, i’m surprised your car let you pull out the key when it was not parked.

      • Thanks Hollis! I’ve slept most of my grief off! The key was still in the ignition. I threw it in park and jumped out to see if I was blocking the driveway and planned to jump back in to skootch forward or back as needed. :/ I’m surprised it didn’t roll off much more quickly. I went to the back of the car first and that’s when it started to go! I’m sure it’ll be funny some day. Thanks for your kind words.

    • Hildegarde :

      You are not a f-up! Thank goodness no one was hurt, and the house wasn’t even that badly damaged. This will be funny someday. Please don’t be so hard on yourself; this sounds like it could happen to anyone.

      • Thanks Hildegarde! I know it could’ve been much worse so I’m grateful for that. :)

    • Hollis is right. You are being too hard on yourself. Another perspective is to think of yourself as the lead in a romcom.

      • Wouldn’t this be the perfect meet-cute in a romantic comedy?

        And I also think that you’re being too hard on yourself. Of course, I would be feeling the same way. But we all make mistakes and we all make mistakes that are careless and 9 times out of 10, we’re lucky and/or blessed (like your situation) and no one gets hurt and we learn from them. Go do things that make you feel better and I promise in a few months, you’ll be laughing at this!

  19. Anyone have advice for this situation? We live in an apartment building. Our next door neighbors watch TV very loudly overnight, and I guess their TV is next to our bedroom. When we have the bedroom window open, the TV is loud enough to interfere with conversation. When we close the window (which makes sleeping a bit uncomfortable in the summer – we don’t have AC in the bedroom because we live in northern CA and it gets very cold at night) the TV isn’t loud enough to interfere with conversation but it is loud enough to interfere with falling asleep. When I say “overnight,” I don’t mean they have the TV on until 11 pm or they start watching at 6 am, which we could live with. They normally have the TV on continuously from 10-11 pm until 1, 2, 3, even 4 am, hours at which no sane person should be watching TV. Unless I’m able to get to sleep before the TV goes on (which is sometimes as early as 9 pm), it usually keeps me awake for hours. My sleep is really suffering and this has been going on for months. We’ve made numerous complaints to our apartment management and they say they have told the people to stop but nothing is changing. Any ideas for other things we can do? I’m about ready to resort to sleeping on an air mattress in the living room.

    • Silvercurls :

      Yuck! That sounds miserable. Good luck. Here are some ideas and my own solution to this problem.
      Can you run a white noise machine?
      Does your lease say anything about quiet hours, consideration for neighbors, etc.? What about any county / municipal / regional / state / other rules about noise?
      Is there a local tenants’ rights organization you could contact for advice?
      I know you wrote that the situation “has been going on for months” but is there any way you could retrain your brain to fall asleep in spite of the unwanted sounds on the other side of the wall?

      Crazy idea #1: if all else fails, can you move?

      Crazy idea #2: can you _pretend_ to move? Keep reading: This actually worked for me when I experienced the same situation of trying to fall asleep amidst the sounds of other people talking (either in nearby apartments or in the ground-level patio walkout areas right below our bedroom window).

      After one or two nights I realized that what _really_ kept me awake was my getting angry and thinking that people should really know better, darn it, than to have loud conversations after 10:00 p.m.! Um, no. Sometimes people really don’t know better and they’re not going to learn and we’re stuck with the situation.

      Then I got inspired. If I was trying to fall asleep in an unfamiliar city with people talking outside my window, how would I react? Would I lie in bed getting angry or would I just accept these nighttime conversations as a charming custom of the local folks?

      Now when I hear noise at bedtime I pretend that I’m falling asleep in a hotel in Havana in a charming residential neighborhood where the local people stay up late. (I’ve never actually been to Havana, but so far my scenario is still effective.) It helps that I’m a heavy sleeper, but losing the anger also really helps me to relax.

    • Have you talked to your neighbors? The next time the TV is too loud and you’re trying to sleep, why not knock on their door and ask them to turn the TV down?

      Alternatively, invest in a fan. It will help to keep you cool at night and hopefully generate enough noise to block out the TV.

      • (former) preg 3L :

        +1 to the fan. A large box fan could sit in your window and drown out the noise completely (possibly). If they won’t turn the TV down, could you ask them to at least shut their window? If it’s a single person staying up to watch TV, could you suggest they purchase some wireless headphones (or get a hearing aid)?

    • Earplugs for you? I sleep with earplugs in, I can still hear my alarm because it’s right next to the bed but sounds like that are drowned out.

      You could also just try going over there in the evening before bed when it’s on and asking them really nicely if they can turn it down.

      Also, as far as the hours “no sane person” would watch tv, they may work odd shifts and maybe 11am-4am is their ‘day’ when they get home from work, ya know?

  20. Piggybacking on Gail’s comment above, how do we feel about Converse sneakers if you’re over 35? Too young/outsider-y? Anything more appropriate? What about the many knockoffs (or similar styles with the big white toe)? There are similar ones from crocs, dr scholls, sketchers, coach, etc…
    TIA!

    • Keds!

    • lawsuited :

      I have a beautiful pair of Cole Haan sneakers that look like Converse sneakers but are made of taupe leather with purple leather piping. They look more put-together, have lasted me ages and are much more comfortable than the flimsy soles of Converse sneakers! I recently saw these ones from Kate Spade and from Coach that are lovely:

      http://www.katespade.com/keds-for-kate-spade-new-york-CHAMP-sneakers/S287699HX,en_US,pd.html?dwvar_S287699HX_color=976&cgid=ks-shoes-sneakers#start=2&cgid=ks-shoes-sneakers

      http://www.katespade.com/keds-for-kate-spade-new-york-CHAMP-sneakers/S287699HX,en_US,pd.html?dwvar_S287699HX_color=976&cgid=ks-shoes-sneakers#start=2&cgid=ks-shoes-sneakers

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